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Thermal Imaging to Solve HVAC Problems

Posted by: Cooper MechanicalThursday, January 11, 2018

Working Smarter: Thermal Imaging Solves HVAC Problems Faster

Thermal imaging is a remarkable tool for HVAC troubleshooting. It's like being a superhero. With a small infrared thermography device we can see through walls, pipes, and mechanical systems to detect hot spots and cold spots. Sometimes known as FLIR cameras (FLIR is the largest manufacturer of thermal tools), thermal imaging helps HVAC professionals diagnose problem sources and fix them faster.

How Does Thermal Imaging Work?

An infrared thermal device like a FLIR camera identifies heat patterns of an object's surface. They do this by rendering heat (infrared radiation) as light. The camera's display renders different heat patterns in different colors, allowing users to easier determine hot and cool spots on a wall, a condenser unit, or a duct, for example.

Possible Applications of Thermal Imaging

For heating and cooling professionals, thermal imaging is helpful for finding problem areas quickly. Often a customer will complain of hot or cold spots, or inefficient heating or cooling, and that's all we have to diagnose the problem. It could be something with airflow, a blockage, a leak in the system, or something unrelated to the HVAC unit altogether. It can be time consuming to inspect each element individually.

It's easier, faster, and cheaper to use a FLIR camera to scan potential problem spots first. For example, using this imaging on ducts and vents could reveal spot leaks at joints. It could also help an HVAC company determine that the HVAC inefficiency is from insulation loss.

Using a thermal camera on the condenser unit is also helpful. You can easily see if a coil is plugged and know exactly where on the coil the blockage is occurring. 

HVAC professionals can even use the imaging tool to locate mold formation, troubleshoot airflow problems, and better predict mechanical failure. In the end, thermal imaging helps HVAC company's solve problems faster and save customers money.


Cooper Mechanical Services Can Help

Cooper Mechanical Services has been serving the residential and commercial HVAC, electrical, and refrigeration needs of the Myrtle Beach area since 1989. The Cooper team uses the latest technology to better serve our clients. With FLIR camera technology we can diagnose HVAC inefficiencies more easily. A leaky duct could be costing you up to 30 or 40% more in energy costs. A quick scan can find the exact location of the leak and get you on the way toward repair.